India as a Future Super Power: Conjectures and Refutations
Sadri, Sorab, Tara, Sharukh, Patil, D. Y., Indian Journal of Economics and Business
This long paper is an exercise in serious soul searching on the part of the authors who use the positivist mindset of a political economist. It begins with painting the background under which the new regime of liberalization, privatization and globalization unfolded. It then proceeds to define globalization realizing that this not very often done. The paper then posits the socialistic view on globalization and then goes on to mention contradictions in the Indian political economy. The paper sets out to argue why globalization was inevitable under the unicentric capitalist world economy and the change of economic focus on the part of planners. Given the indubitable nature of this change of perspective from a relatively centrally planned economy to a relatively free market one, the paper argues that the process of globalization should be accompanied by a process of liberalization. And, the paper lays down the great strides made by India in spite of many contradictions, scandals and frauds to emerge as a global power in 2011.
Winds of change, over the last two decades or so, have swept the economy and the polity of India. The country, under the guidance of two learned economists, Manmohan Singh and Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had under Narsimha Rao moved towards a free market economy. Old rules of the game have been discarded and new rules have been made. Old citadels of power slowly and grudgingly made way for the new barons to take charge. The Nehruvian concept of a socialistic pattern of society, (whatever that meant), was replaced by an IMF influenced liberalization policy. Indian economics underwent cataclysmic, albeit at times cosmetic, changes. It is in this climate of change that the paper seeks to look at the phenomenon of globalization and what it may mean for the future of our economy in general. The paper champions no cause nor does it wave any manifesto. All that is attempted is a re-examination of a particular aspect of objective social reality. This could be viewed as a brief polemic, which presents an alternative paradigm. The position taken is based on the author's viewpoint and supported by sufficient evidence should the reader wish to delve deep into the established sources of empirical data, some of which have been cited at the end of this paper.
India was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy largely due macroeconomic misadministration of three successive governments at the Center which had also written off large agricultural loans in exchange of the vote bank. As India received a US $7 billion bailout from the IMF and the World Bank, it was clear that the donors would impose certain conditionalities. One such was the liberalization of the economy and decontrolling the market mechanism. The prime mover of this capital restructuring process was none other than the former don, an esteemed economist and Professor of the Delhi School of Economics, Manmohan Singh who rose to become India's Prime Minister and .Sonia Gandhi's public mascot. He has been simultaneously, hailed as a hero and derided as a Quisling by persons from different sides of the ideological spectrum. Whatever the verdict of history might be, the good professor has created quite a ripple, which is fast becoming a tidal wave. It is also a fait acompli and it is going to be almost impossible to spin back the wheel of time. But let that rest. A significant phenomenon, fast on the heels of the liberalization process of the Indian economy, was the spate of mergers and strategic alliances between a select band of Indian corporate giants and their overseas counterparts. The Liberal Economists and others of similar persuasions saw such strategic alliances as merely a transformation of the market structure, from one of monopolistic competition to that of oligopoly and duopoly. There was, however, more of it than what meets the eye. What, is argued, as taking place is the concentration and centralization of capital in Indian industry. This process has wider implications both for the polity and the economy than is immediately observable. It would appear that Indian industry; especially since 2005 when it entered the WTO Regime is fast finding a new equilibrium in conditions of uncertainty, and amidst dynamic changes within and between the relations of production with the very nature of capital.
THE GREAT CONTRADICTION
Writing in 2009 Sadri in his polemical paper "Hegel Would Have Danced with Glee" had pointed out that two devout Christian scholars have charted two separate paths to arrive at logical solutions. The first, (we will consider), is Rene' Descartes, a mathematician by training, and as we all know, gave the first formal proof of logic in his masterpiece The Meditations. Aiming to reach totally secure foundations for knowledge, he began to attack all his erstwhile beliefs with sceptical doubts. What was left was the certainty of his conscious experience and with it of his (own) existence. He posited a form of linear reasoning, which began, with a set of syllogisms ending in a conclusion, the whole of which being called an argument. Basically, a syllogism is a form of reasoning wherein a conclusion is drawn from two given or assumed propositions (premises). He stated that a middle or common term is present in both premises and it may even be invalid and is not present in the conclusion. He began by stating dubito ergo sum, (I doubt therefore I am) since the beginning of all inquiry and hence knowledge is doubt. He went on to posit his famous cogito ergo sum, (I think therefore I am), since our consciousness and self-realisation determines who (we see) we are. He ends his thoughts with sum res cogitans, (I am a thinking being), thus justifying the veracity of his argument. In mathematics an argument is an independent variable determining the value of a function. For Descartes it symbolised either a reason advanced or the reasoning process itself.
The moral brigade in India (unwittingly and invariably) uses the Cartesian argument. The proponents doubt the bonafides of a given action or scholarship think and believe that their own position or interpretation is correct and justify it by saying "we are right" as the religion or the custom or the belief system has (somehow) ordained us to say so. 'The hell with freedom of thought guaranteed by the Constitution; if we do not like it we shall create a ruckus and the docile / insecure / accommodative government will fearfully ban it.' Salman Rushdie suffered in Satanic Verses because some clerics misunderstood his brilliantly authored book and the Government of India did not want to rock the vote bank and taking the lead promptly banned it. David Laine and the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) suffered a similar fate at the hands of the moral brigade for Sivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India more recently. To secure the vote bank, the Maharashtra Government raised its ante and banned the book ex post facto. Years ago Dom Moraes could not publish his book since it carried a picture of the Parsee Tower of Silence and the self styled interpreters of Zoroastrianism made quite a song and dance about it. Thank heavens people like Prahalad Kakkar and Soli Sorabjee stood up and the Indian judiciary did not let the cause of scholarship down this time around. Fatwas of course will come thick and fast from the disgruntled moral brigade on all sides of the ideological spectrum (mostly from the right wing, the conservatives and the clergy). The level of social consciousness of the populace will no doubt …
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Publication information: Article title: India as a Future Super Power: Conjectures and Refutations. Contributors: Sadri, Sorab - Author, Tara, Sharukh - Author, Patil, D. Y. - Author. Journal title: Indian Journal of Economics and Business. Volume: 11. Issue: 2 Publication date: August 2012. Page number: 389+. © 2008 Indian Journal of Economics and Business. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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